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Constitutional political economy has emerged as an indispensable part of political economy. This book offers a concise survey of the questions, methods, and empirical findings central to this topic. What effects – if any – do constitutions have within autocracies? Can small electoral districts help reduce corruption? Does a country's leadership affect the size of its government? Can direct democratic institutions increase politicians' accountability to citizens? Stefan Voigt, a pioneer in the field, explores these questions and more throughout the course of this cutting-edge primer. As the number of courses in constitutional economics continues to grow, this book fills an important gap in the literature. This highly original project maintains curiosity about the questions it generates, identifying potential new areas of research whilst successfully demonstrating the impact constitutional rules have on political economy.
In many modern nation states, both rich and poor, traditional law to this day plays an important role. Given the almost universal prevalence of traditional law, it is surprising how little we know about it. This is the first study that tries to take stock of traditional law from a cross-country perspective. We are also interested in the compatibility of traditional law with state-enforced law and, in particular, with the basic traits of the rule of law. Based on a sample of up to 134 countries, we find that no ‘typical’ traditional law exists, but that traditional law varies in many dimensions such as its timely enforcement, its impartiality, and its protection of basic human rights. Societies that rely extensively on traditional law score low regarding both the rule of law and per capita income. Historical and geographical factors are important predictors of the contemporaneous reliance on traditional law. State antiquity, for example, reduces the prevalence of traditional law, as does a high share of descendants from European populations.
One of the central aims of Kyle Johannsen’s monograph, A Conceptual Investigation of Justice, is to defend the idea that we should think of justice as a fundamental value—a value that can come into conflict with other fundamental values. This pluralism is associated in particular with G.A. Cohen’s work and his critique of John Rawls’s theory of justice. In this commentary, I sketch some of the implications of Cohen’s pluralism for a Cohenite ethos of justice.
Lipid membranes are examples of fluid deformable surfaces, which can be viewed as two-dimensional viscous fluids with bending elasticity. With this solid–fluid duality any shape change contributes to tangential flow and vice versa any tangential flow on a curved surface induces shape deformations. This tight coupling between shape and flow makes curvature a natural element of the governing equations. The modelling and numerical tools outlined in Torres-Sánchez et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 872, 2019, pp. 218–271) open a new field of study by enabling the exploration of the role of curvature in this context.
The chapter sketches out the history of the study of African languages in North-Eastern Africa: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia (including Somaliland), South Sudan and Sudan. The focus is on local research traditions and institutions. A separate section deals with Geez studies, due to their unique time depth and importance for the development of native linguistic research in Eritrea and Ethiopia. The time span covered is from the sixteenth century to date, highlighting the dynamically increasing impact of local African linguists, philologists and language practitioners in all of these countries.
More and more environmental cases are being heard and decided by international courts and tribunals which lack special environmental competence. This situation raises fundamental questions of legitimacy of the environmental practice of international courts. This book addresses inter alia questions of who has legal standing to bring an environmental claim before an international court, on which legal norms is the case decided and whether judges have the necessary expertise to adjudicate environmental cases of often complex nature. It analyses which challenges international courts face, which possibilities they have and which advances international judicial practice has been able to make in protecting the environment. Through the prism of legitimacy important insights emerge as to whether international courts and tribunals are fit for addressing some of the most pressing global challenges of our time.